Fabricista Fashion Challenge #1

Musings of a Seamstress

For the first challenge we were given the Scout tee from Grainline Studio to make.  The catch was that we had to make it unique.
Grainline Scout Tee
 No making it as the plain basic tee it is.

Musings of a Seamstress

 To start I took the line art from the pattern and started drawing different ideas for how I could change it up.  I have a few other versions that I will be trying in the future, but for now this is the version I settled upon.

Musings of a Seamstress

For the front I added a faux pleat to the center front with 3 white buttons near the top.  I also drafted a Peter Pan collar, which I had never done before.  I did also add 3″ in length since I prefer my tops a little longer than this one started at.

Musings of a Seamstress

I decided to split the back to create a yoke and then added a box pleat to the lower portion for a little more backside room.  The sleeve is the only pattern piece that I did not make a single change too.

For this top I used 1.25yds of a lightweight woven cotton, from the stash, that I got last year in a Fabric Mart mystery bundle.  I also used scraps of white cotton from who knows what previous project.

I really like this top!  It is so different from what is already in my wardrobe right now!  It will be great to finish out the summer in since it is so lightweight.  I also think it will pair fantastically with a dark blue cardigan, meaning I am now on the look out for the perfect one or the perfect fabric to make one.  I think this top will work great as a casual top but I should be able to also pair it with some dressier trousers and my future cardigan for a more business casual look.

If you like my version please vote for it by going here.  You can vote today and tomorrow for mine or any of my awesome competitors!



Filed under Sewing

Sew What?!?! Fall 2014

With summer winding down I think it is time to start planning my fall sewing.  If you are new to my blog, fall has some of my absolute favorite fashions!  I am a lover of pretty much all woolens.  Tweeds, houndstooth, plaid, herringbone, you name it and I want it!  I love jewel tones and lots of layers. I really just love fall because of the crispness in the air, the leaves changing colors and all things pumpkin.  Then there is football,  oh how I have missed football.  Yep I would say that I am ready for fall, but my wardrobe is not.  So, here is what I am wanting this season.  These all came from my Pinterest board, so please go there to find the original sources.


1.  Dresses with layers

I really like these looks because they can extend the seasonality of my dresses.  Granted most of my dresses are bright, loud, summer dresses.  I think I am going to have to make some jewel tone dresses that I will be able to transition between seasons.  I am thinking the Lady Skater dress will be perfect for this!  I already have a good selection of tights/leggings, cardigans and scarves to pair the new dresses with.

2. Army green sleeveless jacket

So this one is super specific.  I don’t know what else to say other than I really like the look of these to outfits.  Normally, this kind of jacket is not my thing, but I want to give it a shot.


3. Gingham button up

Keeping with the previous want, is gingham.  Gingham is trendy right now and I am loving it.  I want to try a dark blue large gingham check.  Also, I really just need some button ups.  Believe it or not I do not have any!!  I am thinking that I may want to do some sort of flannel plaid button up as well.


4.  Lightweight blouses

Much like button ups, I do not have many blouses.  I  want to up the game of my work wardrobe and this is the clear way to do it.

Simplicity recently released their fall collection and in it was S1280.  I think view B, the one the model is wearing, will be perfect for what I am wanting.  I have a couple of stash fabrics in mind for this already.

5.  Maxi skirts

 You know I love a good maxi skirt or maxi dress, but I only wear them during spring and summer.  I came across these two outfits and knew I wanted to wear them for fall as well.  Much like my dresses, my current maxi skirts are very spring/summer wear.  So I need to make some for fall.  Plus, I really like the chambray button up paired with the gray maxi.  Maybe a chambray button up needs to be added to my button up list.


6. Cover ups

 While this is more of an outerwear thing, which I need too, I really want it.  I love gray view C from the new S1281.  I think I want to do this in a thick woolen tribal fabric.  Jo-Ann’s has a couple that I like, but to be honest, I was less than impressed with how the plaid I made my coat out of last year looked at the end of the season.  It pilled so bad that it looked like I had been wearing it for years, which is a shame since I love it so much.  I am going to keep looking for another tribal wool that I like.

So that’s what I want to make.  What is on your fall must haves list?



Filed under Sewing

August Round Up

August was exciting and busy busy busy!!  We went to Gen Con and the Ohio Renaissance Festival this month.  Of course I made several different costumes for others to wear.

Musings of a Seamstress

First was Gen Con in the middle of the month.  Eric is in the black and wore the same costume from last year. A couple of his friends joined us this year and I made a costume for one of them.  I spent a lot of time on this pattern.  I patterned the whole thing from scratch!  I made a prototype, a muslin sizing version and then the final version.  I wish I had taken more photos throughout the process though.  I didn’t even take other photos than this of him in the costume.  I still need to make a few fit alterations to the belts and shorten the cloak a bit more though.

Musings of a Seamstress

We decided to go to the renaissance festival yesterday for their opening weekend.  We were joined by some of our great friends.  The last time they went with us their oldest, who is now six, was only one.  So of course the boys needed costumes and their dad needed a new doublet. I had already promised Eric a new doublet a while ago.  Because I am a professional procrastinator I waited until the last minute to make all of these.

I worked on Eric’s every night for an hour and a half or so after work last week.  It took me all week doing it this way.  For his I used all stash fabrics!h

1 1/4yds dark blue diamond weave home dec fabric

1/2 yd of black faux leather

1 3/4yds of black cotton

I also added 6 large 1 1/4 inch buttons and a braided trim at the seam of the blue and black.  I do not think this faux leather will hold up well though.  We will see how long it lasts.

So Eric’ took me until Friday night to finish and we went to the ren fest on Sunday.  Let that sink in for a moment.  I made 2 pairs of boys pants, 2 boys doublets and 1 adult doublet in 24 hours! Yep,24 hours! I for seriously stayed up for 24 hours sewing.  I finished and had just enough time to pack our costumes and head out to Ohio with a large Redbull.  No sleep was worth it because those boys looked so freaking adorable.  All three used all stash fabrics as well!

For dad’s I used:

1 3/4 yds of black cotton bottomweight twill

1 3/4yds of black cotton

I also used 6 of the same buttons I put on Eric’s.  Those buttons have been in my stash for a few years because I got them for my pirate coat that I never made.

Both of the boys doublets have faux chemise sleeves attached.  It saved me time and I thought it would make them more comfortable.  They loved these and even picked out the fabrics a couple of weeks ago.

For the littlest I used:

1/2yd red twill

1/2yd black cotton

1/2yd muslin

1/2yd of black cotton twill

4 small black frog closures


For the oldest I used:

1yd gold brocade

1/2yd black cotton

1/2yd muslin

3/4yds black cotton twill

I am guessing I will have to make new ones for them next year since they are growing like crazy!  I am okay with that though because I really enjoyed making these and seeing them running around having so much fun.

For September I had wanted to start making a plan for fall sewing but that is going to have to wait for 6 weeks! Starting this Friday I will be 1 of 6 contestants in Fabric Mart’s 2nd Fabricista Fashion Challenge.  I am super excited for this challenge and honored to be chosen to compete with such amazing talent.  Keep and eye out for those posts and vote for your favorite garment each week!


Filed under Sewing

M5974 version 6

Musings of a Seamstress

I have a new dress to share!  Let me start by saying I love it!!  It is by far the loudest print I have ever used.  It is my sixth version of McCall’s 5974.  I really do have a deep love for this pattern.  It really is the perfect knit dress.  The fit is phenomenal!  The silhouette works really well for my body type.

For this version I used 2 yards of a semi lightweight knit from Jo-Ann’s that has been in my stash for a year now.  I debated whether or not it needed a lining because it was not quite thin enough but in the end I decided I would rather put it in and know I felt comfortable over not putting it in and possibly wishing I had. For the lining I used 2 yards of white cotton knit from Fabric Mart that has also been in the stash for a year.  Woohoo for stashbusting.

Musings of a Seamstress

 After wearing it all day it did get a little baggy in the back.  Since I did not pre-wash my cottons I have confidence that it will shrink back down.  I actually got a few compliments on how well the back fits by some coworkers.  Of course this was before it got baggy.

Musings of a Seamstress

 This dress doesn’t have a lot of circle spin like the ones I make at work, but it is still fun to spin in.

I did also take a bending over shot, but I didn’t like the way it turned out. The dress does gap a bit in the chest when bending over, but for now I am going to say it is because the dress stretched out a bit after wearing it all day at work.  We will see what happens after I wash it.

Musings of a Seamstress

I do the belt differently than the instructions say.  The instructions do it to were the seams are all on the inside of the belt and include a bit of hand stitching.  That takes a good chunk of time and I am okay with my seams showing on the inside of my dress.  I straight stitched my bodice to they belt and to the skirt. Then I serged each of those seams to finish it off.  I think this works just as well as the way the instructions indicate.

Musings of a Seamstress

Instead of doing a narrow hem, I just serged my lining to my shell and turned and stitched it.  It worked out much easier to do it this way than the narrow hem.  I think with the shell and the lining a narrow hem would have been too bulky.

Musings of a Seamstress

 I decided I wanted to try a rolled hem for this version, something a little different than the other five I have previously made.  I made sure to make my lining an inch shorter than my shell so I don’t run the risk of it hanging out.  I think my serger’s rolled hem function worked quite nicely for this dress.

Seriously, if you have not made this dress yet, you really really need to!! What are you waiting for?  Go to your stash, find a great knit, and cut it out this weekend.  It is a quick and easy make.


Filed under Sewing

Share My Stash Update

Musings of a Seamstress

I wanted to share a quick update on how well this went!  I could hardly believe it.  I had anticipated 10-20 donations and was prepared for that.  I went to bed shortly after posting my giveaway/fundraising attempt to several different sewing Facebook groups.  While I was sleeping my post went crazy!  I checked first thing in the morning and found we had received nearly 70 donations.  I went to work vowing to find lots of boxes and start a list of donors.  Two hours into work and we received close to another 30 donations.  At that point, I posted that I had to stop accepting donations.  Where was I going to get 100 boxes to ship?  How was I going to fit 100 packages in my car?


It took a couple of hours once I got home to sort through all the donations. I also researched alternative shipping options and I decided on shipping in those Priority flexible envelopes.  It will be easier to transport them this way.  So I ordered 100 of these envelopes from the USPS website and they should arrive within the next day or two.  The other thing I decided was that I am going to have to do multiple shipments.  When I was thinking 10-20 donations I knew I could easily handle shipping that, but 100 is going to be way more than I had intended.  So the fabric goodies will have to go out in waves.  Please be patient with me in that respect.  I did get a few envelopes from the post office this past weekend and have started packing up the first orders, which will ship out tomorrow.

The picture above is a fraction of the fabrics I have pulled out ready to be packaged!  I am keeping track of how much is actually going out.  I am excited to see what that final tally will be!  I promise to share that with you all too.

So are you curious as to what our donation total is?


After Go Fund Me and PayPal took out their fees we received a total of…


Can you believe it?!?!?  I know I couldn’t when I first added it up.  I am so incredibly blown away by the support of our online sewing community once again.  In less than 24 hours we became 1/10th of the way closer to our adoption goal!  There are some other things in the works that I cannot talk about that are very promising as well.  For the first time since starting our fundraising journey, I feel like I can see the light at the end of this tunnel and the beginning of our adoption journey.


Filed under Adoption, Sewing

The Great Destashing

Oh my gosh!!  I am blown away by the response to this post.  I seriously anticipated maybe 10-20 donations.  As of right now, we have received nearly 100 donations.  Seriously, thank you for all the support!!  Because of the overwhelming response I am going to have to put a hold on any more donations until I can get caught up.  This is possibly going to take me a few weeks to get everything double checked, packed, and shipped.  I want to make sure I am not leaving anyone off.  Plus, I don’t think I could fit this many packages in my car to take to the post office. 

Stay tuned for future destashings!

Let me get straight to the point.  I want to give you my fabric!  Yes, you read that right! Take my fabric!  Please!  You know you want it!

Why am I giving you my stash?  A couple of nights ago on Twitter I shared a pic of my sewing room and the maybe 6 feet of space I had to walk around in.  Then yesterday, I was trying to locate some particular fabric, which I never did find, and was stabbed in the toe by a straight pin in my fabric.  Oh and I was wearing shoes at the time.  Not cool.

  My stash is getting out of control!  I have been stressing about it and have not bought a great deal of fabric this year as a result.  Now, I am not saying that is bad by any means, but I don’t want to stress about it anymore.  Sewing is supposed to be relaxing and fun.  I don’t want to feel like I can never keep up.

 I am out of space to put my fabric away so it goes on top of any flat surface I can find.  For real!  These lovelies deserve to go to a seamstress who will actually use them.

So here is what I am proposing.  If you want a fun mystery box of fabric from my stash, it is yours!  I will pick a few pieces of goodies from my stash and ship it to you.  Each box will have at least 3 yards of fabric plus some other fun sample fabrics.  I am guessing that I can put some sort of sequin fabric in every box too!  I am going to make that a personal challenge.


Now this can get expensive on my end for shipping all of these lovely goodies to you to make gorgeous things out of.  I estimated it to be between $7-$10 based on weight for domestic.  So what I am asking is that you make a small donation of $5.00 to our adoption fund to help cover shipping costs. I am willing to do international shipments with a larger donation.  All the donations will stay in our adoption fund and shipping will still come out of my own pocket.

So what do you say?  Are you in?  I hope so, because of all these pics you see it does not even show all of my fabric stash.  There is more! Can you believe it!

 So, if you want some make a donation of $5.00 or more click on the Paypal link on the sidebar.  Make sure you enter the address you want it shipped too and a note saying “Share your stash”.

Please help get the word out and share this post as well!  I really want to de-stash and raise money for our adoption!


Filed under Adoption, Sewing

Motivation Outfit and PJ’s

Butterick 5153

First pajamas!  I made three pairs today.  These two use B5153, my TNT pajama pattern.  The key pattern is a pair of shorts for myself using 1 1/4 yards of stash flannel that I got at Jo-Ann’s last November.  The Bears print is a pair of pants that I have had cut out since November.  I figured if I was making pajamas today I might as well finish a UFO while I was at it.  Yay for getting things out of my overly crowded sewing room.

Now, I did say that I made three pairs today, but I only have a picture of two.  Why?!?  Well the third pair was for Eric and he hijacked them as soon as I was done with them.  He won’t let me take a picture of him in them either.  Booooo!!  At any rate, for the third pair I used pattern B6837 and 2 yards of orange, white, and black plaid from the stash.

I feel like these are very boring sewing makes since they are so easy and there is nothing else to say about them than my fabric usage.  Even with that it is much needed, cake sewing that I am glad to do since it uses up my stash.

Musings of a Seamstress

This is something a little more fun!  I made this way way back at the beginning of April.  I used Butterick 6837 for the top and bottom.  This is one of Gertie’s patterns for Butterick.  I love it!  I really wanted to try cigarette pants, pastels, and vintage styles this spring/summer and this satisfied all three of those. It was very easy to construct.  The only change I made was to add four buttons to the top instead of the two it called for.  Before I get into the details of this outfit I want to share why I am not wearing it.

When I decided to make this I realized that this pattern went up to a size 20, and I normally wear a 22.  Now, I could have just sized the patterns up a bit to make it work for me , but I decided to make it at a size 18.  Crazy, right!?!  Clearly it isn’t going to fit…yet.  I am working to lose 40 lbs total by fall.  So far I have lost 10 lbs and in another 10 lbs this outfit should fit!  I figure if I was down 20 lbs I would feel more comfortable wearing this because of where the top hits. Ten more pounds!  Ten more pounds!  This is definitely motivation to keep going.  I want to wear this outfit!

Musings of a Seamstress

For the top I used 1 1/2 yards of a lilac purple linen from the stash.  I got this fabric in a mystery bundle from Fabric Mart at some point in the last two years but I don’t know exactly when.  I was originally going to give this fabric away because I thought I would never use it.  I am glad I didn’t.  My favorite detail about this top that I didn’t catch from the pattern envelope is the back of the collar.  I love that it dips up and over laps.  It is unique!  The only downside to this top is that because I used linen it is pretty much permanently wrinkled.  Win some, lose some.

Musings of a Seamstress

 For the cigarette pants I used 2 1/4 yards of floral print stretch twill from the stash.  This also came from a Fabric Mart mystery bundle.  I really really like the mystery bundles!  I remember that when I first pulled this fabric out of the bundle I new I wanted to make some sort of skinny jeans with it and then this pattern came along.  I knew immediately that this was the right fabric for these pants.  I love the pocket detail on these. It was one of the easiest pockets I have ever put in, but to be fair I haven’t really made a lot of pants.

I have never worn anything of this style or even floral printed pants so I have no idea if when I lose the weight this will work for me, but I so want it too.  This outfit is just fun.  One of the things I want to sew more of is pants and fun pants at that.  In the fall I pretty much only wear dark denim jeans and I want to change that this year by wearing more business like attire to work.  I have a few other fabric in my stash that I know I want to use for pants and I just bought the Sewaholic Thurlow Trouser pattern.

I am almost caught up with my blogging. I still have a couple of other projects I need to blog about, including my March of the Shieldmaiden dress.  Pretty sure I won’t blog about that one until I wear it to the ren faire in September though.  For the rest of tonight and tomorrow I will be making a fitting garment or two so that I can recover Broke Down Betty and make her fabulous!  That will be a whole post on it’s own to add to my blogging list.

1 Comment

Filed under Sewing

Simplicity 1804 part deux

Oh hai there!  It has been awhile hasn’t it?  Well I have been sewing a lot this month, that is a whole other post though.  Then there are all the other projects I have sewn in the last 3 months that I have not blogged about.  Maybe some more tomorrow.  Definitely not in another month though.  Today, however, is dedicated to the dress that I made over the weekend!

Musings of a Seamstress

May I present my newest maxi, view A of Simplicity 1804!

I love it!!

Musings of a Seamstress

This is my second time using this pattern.  Last time I made view D.  View A has been on my must make list since I got this pattern forever ago.  The only thing stopping me was fabric.  I could never settle on one I liked the best for it.  Until last year, when I got this pale pink and gray floral print from Jo-Ann’s red tag section.  It is a super soft swimwear like knit.  I think it has just a bit too much stretch and delicateness to be serious swimwear though.

This pattern did require one major adjustment though.  The following pictures are just for your amusement and hopefully you will be able to avoid the issues I had.

Musings of a SeamstressMusings of a Seamstress

The picture on the left is exactly how the pattern was originally.  It is had to tell from this picture, but there is about 1/4″ of my bra hanging out.  Now I am all for showing a bit of cleavage, but wowzer that is way too much!  The second picture is where I pinned it at a spot I thought would work better.  I took in the center front seam by 3″ total.

Musings of a Seamstress

Once I tried it back on it was still a quite a bit lower than I thought when I had pinned it.  So I took it in another 3″ tapering this one down to the bottom of the bodice.  I then had a lot of excess front skirt fabric so I created a reversed box pleat to add a little more tummy hiding fullness to the front.  I am so much happier now that I took in the center front.

I really like this style, but I am not sure if I will make this pattern again though.  The twisted band across the bust seam is very distinctive and I do not think that I need another one at this time.  If I do make it again I will probably add some sort of inset belt between the bust and skirt.  For now I have several other patterns I want to try out  this summer.


Filed under Sewing

A Bit of Catching Up

Pardon my absence as of late.  So much has been happening that I have hardly done any sewing let alone plan out a post.  So I thought I would share a bit of an update.

Musings of a Seamstress

First,  I got a new car!!  It is a 2014 Nissan Rogue.  I have been driving it for 3 weeks now and I love it!  Awhile back I said that there were two absolute musts before Eric and I adopt and the biggest was getting a new car.  My previous car was a 1995 2 door sport car with 185,000 miles, not really something you want to drive babies around in.   We were able to finally make this happen and I could not be happier.  This will be the car we drive our babies around in.  That is exciting to think about.

Musings of a Seamstress

The other thing that we have been plugging away on is a bathroom remodel!  Shortly after we moved into our house four years ago we discovered that the downstairs bathtub had a hole in the pipes causing water to pour out to our slab base and slowly leak out onto our tile floor. The only way to fix this was to rip out the entire bathroom to get to the pipes.  We have spent the last three years buying all the things we needed to complete the remodel and we started it almost two months ago.  We have discovered so many crazy things in the process, like there used to be a window in the bathroom that was left in unsecured to the studs and just had siding placed over it with no insulation.  GREAT!  I will be finishing repainting the ceiling this weekend and then we can start installing all the new fixtures. I will definitely have to share pics once it is done because it is quite the transformation.  It will be a bit before we take on any other remodeling projects though.  So much stress!!!

Musings of a Seamstress

If that wasn’t enough stress, my company is also moving from a small town to Indianapolis!  I am so excited about this.  It will be great for the company.  Luckily my commute will stay the same.  Our company has been in this small town for 28 years, so moving the whole company is quite an undertaking.  Do you know how much stuff is accumulated in 28 years?!?!? Whew!  We had a fabric sale, which of course I was all over.  I got quite a few goodies as you can see.  I took home a total of 17 yards of sequins awesomeness.  One of them has already been cut for a new Summer Concert Tee.  I will hopefully get to sew it over this long holiday weekend.

Musings of a Seamstress

One of the other things I acquired was a new to me dress form.  Right now I am calling her Brokedown Betty.  As you can see she has been well used.  She is just about my size so I am planning on padding her out just a little bit and making a new cover for her.  Soon she will be Beautiful Betty.

Musings of a Seamstress

Lastly I did make a new pair of pajamas!  I made them because I took a business trip to Atlanta with my bosses.  We went to a sewing and manufacturing trade show.  It was awesome!  I used 5 yards of flannel from the stash that I got this past Black Friday.  I love these.  The shorts are made with Butterick 5153 and the top is Butterick 6837.  It is the second time I have made this style of top but only the first time I have made it for myself.  I definitely see more of these in my future.

I still have one more outfit to blog about that I made way back in April.  I need to get some good pics of it soon and then I will share it.


Filed under Adoption, Sewing

Sew What?!?! Spring 2014

Every spring and fall I write a post about what I want to sew for the upcoming season.  I am finally going to title these posts as Sew What?!?!.  This is a way to help me get my thoughts in order and make a plan for my personal sewing.  I only do it for spring and fall because what I sew for those seasons I tend to transition and wear through summer and winter respectively. Here is my list of trends for Spring/Summer 2014

1. Pantone’s Color of the year: Radiant Orchid

I am a sucker lover of all things Pantone!  They are the color authority and that is really all that needs to be said about that.

2. Girly pastels: lilac, mint


I am thinking something retro like cigarette pants or full skirts in soft feminine colors like lilac and mint and pale pink.  Pair it with some killer heals and red lipstick and I am set.

3. Retro silhouettes: 

Tying in with #2 I really want to try cigarette pants.  I am not sure if I will like them on me or not but they always look so freaking fantastic when I see them on others.  I have really wanted to try Gertie’s Butterick pattern B5895 for quite sometime and I finally did a couple of weeks ago and it combines with wearing pastels too .  I have yet to wear it but I will post a review about that later this week.

4. Tribal prints: 

 I feel like this has been on my list of must sews FOR-EV-ER!!!  Mostly it has been on there because I haven’t found the one tribal print that I die for.  Well I am happy to report that as this trend has gained in popularity over the last few seasons the number of prints is increasing and I have found 3 from Girl Charlee that I really like.  Let’s be real, I don’t think I need all three since 2 of them are similar enough.  I may pick these up here within the next couple of weeks. Now that I have the prints picked I have what I want to make planned out too.  A sweater with the black and white Hacci Sweater knit and a print blocked maxi dress with one of the two colorful prints.

5. High low pieces: 

This one is kind of a cheat as I have already made 2 high low Summer Concert Tees, but I want to try some high low skirts and dresses next.  I drafted a high low dress pattern which I have yet to make but I know it will work out well.

So there you have it, my list of must try’s for the season.  What is on your list?

Disclaimer: I do not take credit for any of these photos.  They all came from Google Searches.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Sewing